Firsthand Knowledge

Things you never wanted to learn firsthand: The people who design car-seats have clearly never needed to clean copious amounts of vomit out of them on the side of the highway 50 miles from the closest exit in middle-of-nowhere Nevada.  Why are there so many crevices?!

(Sigh) The other side of parenthood.  Luckily it was still daylight, traffic was light, and nothing but the seat and Heather's clothes got contaminated.

Heather was apparently not feeling well, but after giving up most her lunch she seemed to improve dramatically.  Unfortunately, now the car has a lovely eau de sick.

Hopefully a thorough washing of the car-seat will fix that.

Had we any safe way of transporting Heather without it, I may have been tempted to leave the car-seat in the desert--it was pretty gross.

Best Early Birthday Gift EVAR

I went visiting teaching tonight, so Kyle was responsible for getting Heather to bed. I guess she was pretty distraught about my absence at key points in the process. But Kyle managed to calm her and get her down.

So I get home and he's telling me about how upset she was, and I kind of wished I could go in and give her a hug and snuggle. Kyle pointed out that she was still wide awake...and then remembered he had forgotten to put an overnight diaper on her. So I went in to change her and show her that I did, in fact, come back. While I was changing her, she kept babbling something around her binkie that I could not understand at all. Kyle finally realized what it was: "Happy birthday, Mama." He had taught it to her and told her to say that to me in the morning (but not really thinking at all that she would remember to do so). But she did! How cute is that?!

It's Not Apathy, It's Despair

Germans are protesting in the streets about the NSA.  Americans are doing nothing.  Why?

OK, yes, I think apathy does play a role.  I think there are a lot of Americans who have their bread and circuses and just don't care about anything else.  I also think there are a lot of Americans who think, "This only affects bad guys" and haven't studied enough history to realize why that is a dangerous assumption.

But for me, and I think many others, it's not apathy.  I care.  I care a great deal about the usurpation of civil rights that has occurred in this country since the end of 2001.  And not just the loss of civil rights but the abandonment of any moral high ground we may have held on the international stage.

I haven't flown since 2010 and I won't fly until the TSA is reigned in and passengers are treated with some modicum of respect and aren't assumed to be terrorists.  I wrote to all the airlines explaining why I would no longer be a customer.  They didn't seem to care.

I don't vote for Republicans or Democrats (if possible).  I vote for, and donate money to, third-party candidates.  They never win.

I donate money to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  They file lawsuits that get thrown out of court because "National Security" which apparently also means "end of discussion."

I've written actual paper letters to my Congressional representatives and the President with my positions.  The only response is a form letter with no indication anyone bothered to read the message.

So I promise it's not apathy.  I previously wrote about Outrage Fatigue and what follows fatigue is despair.  I think for those of us that do care, our lack of action is mainly due to despair.

What can we honestly do as average citizens that will make any difference?

I may despair in what I can do next to help fix things, but I'm not without hope.  I think we are making a difference, though slow.  And I think we will eventually rein in the egregious abuses we've seen.

I think, or at least hope, we'll look back on 2001-2020 the same way we look at 1950-1956 and the abuses that were McCarthyism.

Then the important question will be: what can we do to prevent it from happening again?